Eleazar's Terrain Improvements

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Eleazar's Terrain Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 22nd, 2010, 3:00 pm

I recently played wesnoth again after a few years hiatus, and now i've got the bug to do some more terrain. Some really nice stuff has been added, but some old, moldy stuff is still visible.

This animated water looks really promising-- i hope boucman can make it work.

OK, looking at what we have with fresh eyes, this is what i notice:
terrain.jpg


Ignore the transitions for now. Most of these different flat terrains don't look like they belong together at all. The colors of the soil are radically and unnaturally different. And the rocky paths are utterly unspotted by the surrounding soil.

* Adjusting these so all the ground terrains had a more similar hue would go a long way toward making all these look like part of a cohesive whole. Of course the different terrains would still need to be distinct, just not so obviously distinct.

* The two stone paths are too similar


* We have overlays, but we don't make use of them as well as we could to give the map-maker control.
    -- flowers should be an overlay over any grass tile
    -- the random small rocks such as you see in the original grass could be an overlay for various tiles
    -- i'd like to add a sooty-ash overlay for messing up scenes of devastation and carnage.
    --desert crater is technically an overlay but isn't transparent anywhere
    --desert plants could be a separate overlay, so the map designer can place them or not as he wishes
    --the ford and possibly reef should probably be done as an overlay, but that involves the new water, so who knows.


* Freim and Jetrel both mentioned the ugly desert mountains. Since new mountains would be a huge job, i'd just do a nice color-shift so the base transitions nicely with the desert.


Some other random things that bother me:
    * a lot of terrains have excessively straight, square or at least unnaturally smooth transitions
    * a lot of terrains have excessively wide transitions
    * fog has only 1 tile + transitions
    * some desert plant foliage is extremely blue-green (I changed this to see if i remembered how to commit-- might need more tweaks)
    * my bridge is very red and pretty ugly


What i'm intrested in doing at the moment is some color shifts to various terrain to bring them into harmony-- then possible some new grass terrains from scratch.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby jb » April 22nd, 2010, 4:32 pm

Well, I rarely comment on art, as I'm not very good with visual things. However, seeing as you are motivated, I may as well submit my wish list for terrains.

Badlands or Crags (Hills)
-A terrain to replace desert hills. A very steep incline, rather than the gradual hill incline.

Example #1
http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/geolo ... dlands.jpg
Example #2
http://www.ukrigs.org.uk/rigsimages/rigs20f.jpg


Volcano Mountain or Black Mountains (Mountains)
-This would be designed to blend into both the cave and lava tiles, with either a smoky top or a lava top.

Example #1
http://www.destination360.com/central-a ... olcano.jpg
Example #2
http://www.arenal.net/photo/latest/2007 ... ory-lodge/

Stone Bridge (Road)
-A stone bride to connect road over water terrains.

Example #1
http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/stone ... -mn233.jpg
Example #2
http://blog.taiwan-guide.org/wp-content ... bridge.jpg


Mudflats or Delta (Flat, Sand)
-Another flat terrain, with the movement of sand or swamp terrains.

Example #1
http://www.sendler.co.uk/images/Newburg ... dflats.jpg
Example #2
http://tidalflats.org/Willapa/Photos/WB ... uthern.jpg
Example #3
http://www.stchas.edu/faculty/ewilson/P ... %20001.jpg
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 22nd, 2010, 4:46 pm

I'm mostly interested in making the terrain we have look better, not making new ones. At least right now.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby freim » April 22nd, 2010, 6:07 pm

Some thoughts:

* Oasis also have these very vibrant colored plants, could also need an adjustment
* Tropical forest is very fuzzy. Best would be a replacement with similar style as the new forest, but a quick touch-up could be to sharpen them
* Desert hills, hue is off compared to other desert art
* Agree on the bridge, it doesn't fit very well anymore

I have been meaning to start on replacing the desert mountains, but it's such a huge task that I have just been putting it off. We could look at redoing the base to fit desert and change the coloring to be more dark basalt. I can do some test tiles to see how it will turn out.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 22nd, 2010, 8:33 pm

Here's more or less where i'm going with harmonizing the soil/dirt/sand colors.
Compare to the image in the first post.

I haven't changed the pure-grey cobbled path
Attachments
terrain2.jpg
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Boucman » April 22nd, 2010, 8:55 pm

about terrains in general :

I've spent some time learning about terrain WML, and I now have a quite good mastery of it, so feel free to go crazy, I can handle it

in particular the mechanics for animated terrains have been upgraded, and we should be able to integrate any animated terrain easily...

about animated water.... the problem is that rhyging5 seems to be MIA and a lots of tiles are missing. I could integrate the base tiles, which are done, but they probably need some recoloring. As for the beaches, we have a coule of them, mainly north facing, but we don't have enough and no cliff transition at all.

i'm no artist, I can't solve that problem, but if you feel like tackling that particular problem I can easily help you get everything in place
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 23rd, 2010, 12:34 am

freim wrote:* Oasis also have these very vibrant colored plants, could also need an adjustment
Yeah, but that one doesn't bother me so much since you would expect oasis plants to be greener

freim wrote:* Tropical forest is very fuzzy. Best would be a replacement with similar style as the new forest, but a quick touch-up could be to sharpen them
Perhaps the tropical could be sharper, but i think the new deciduous forests, while a very nice piece of work, go too far in the direction of sharp, clean edged crisp rendering. Very much like pre-3d animation, Wesnoth has had two styles, more soft-edged and painterly for the backgrounds (i.e. terrain), and sharper and bold-edged for the foreground characters. Castles and villages tend to fall somewhere in between.

This works in Wesnoth for the many of the same reasons it worked in classic cartoons, it helps keep the characters from getting visually lost in the background, so that the characters remain the main focus.

I won't deny some of the terrains, especially older ones, are too soft and smudgy-- my bridges for instance. I just don't think we should unreservedly go for sharper terrain.


freim wrote:* Desert hills, hue is off compared to other desert art
Um, it seems it matches spot on to the newer "Dd" desert. It doesn't precisely match the older "Ds" desert. Since it has no cacti, and it's smoother i tend to think of "Ds" as beach sand, though i know it's not always used that way. "Dd" and "Ds" IMHO look a little odd next to each other, but i'm not sure exactly what should be done.


freim wrote:Made a quick test tile so we have something to discuss.

If you really want to make new mountains from scratch, more power to you! I'm not sure what to do about this, but the thing that bothers me about the mountains is that they aren't very flexible-- i.e. they only really work next to a narrow range of terrains. Especially since dark basalt-type mountains could work in several different contexts, like as a volcanic range on a tropical island, and as a half-decent transition between cave and outdoor terrain, it would be marvelous if you could figure a way to make them transition nicely with things besides desert. But like i said, i don't have a specific solution.


Boucman wrote:I've spent some time learning about terrain WML, and I now have a quite good mastery of it, so feel free to go crazy, I can handle it
Great, because trying to do fancy stuff with the WML drives me crazy :shock: -- though i think it's better now with the new system.

Boucman wrote:about animated water.... the problem is that rhyging5 seems to be MIA and a lots of tiles are missing. I could integrate the base tiles, which are done, but they probably need some recoloring. As for the beaches, we have a coule of them, mainly north facing, but we don't have enough and no cliff transition at all.

Even if we just got ocean and shallow done with that style and no special transitions (i.e. beach waves) i think it would be a major improvement.

Off the cuff, i don't think it would be too hard to make beach transitions, in more or less that style. If the double transition method i describe in the other thread works as i hope, we should only need 3 sets of land<>water animated transitions. One for flat-ish terrain, one for hills and mountains, and one for cave.

Actually, the Ford and Reef probably should have special animations too.

So you can animate all this and there's no lag issues?


EDIT:
Fog: There was only a single base tile for the fog, which tiled too obviously i made and uploaded 2 more, but couldn't get them to show up in game. Either fog is a special case in the .cfg, or i don't remember the basics of the .cfg... or both.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby freim » April 23rd, 2010, 6:08 am

Eleazar wrote:
freim wrote:* Tropical forest is very fuzzy. Best would be a replacement with similar style as the new forest, but a quick touch-up could be to sharpen them
Perhaps the tropical could be sharper, but i think the new deciduous forests, while a very nice piece of work, go too far in the direction of sharp, clean edged crisp rendering. Very much like pre-3d animation, Wesnoth has had two styles, more soft-edged and painterly for the backgrounds (i.e. terrain), and sharper and bold-edged for the foreground characters. Castles and villages tend to fall somewhere in between.

This works in Wesnoth for the many of the same reasons it worked in classic cartoons, it helps keep the characters from getting visually lost in the background, so that the characters remain the main focus.

I won't deny some of the terrains, especially older ones, are too soft and smudgy-- my bridges for instance. I just don't think we should unreservedly go for sharper terrain.


I agree. I also find the forest a little to much on the sharp side so I don't want the tropical to go that far. Somewhere in-between the two would be good.

Eleazar wrote:
freim wrote:* Desert hills, hue is off compared to other desert art
Um, it seems it matches spot on to the newer "Dd" desert. It doesn't precisely match the older "Ds" desert. Since it has no cacti, and it's smoother i tend to think of "Ds" as beach sand, though i know it's not always used that way. "Dd" and "Ds" IMHO look a little odd next to each other, but i'm not sure exactly what should be done.


Disregard my comment on this, I compared it to the wrong terrain (sand not desert).
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby doofus-01 » April 23rd, 2010, 1:01 pm

There are some old-hands at terrain art now active here, so I'll ask if anyone knows how to manage the underground images, such as cave walls or chasm? Regular castle and even the underground pale brick walls are easy enough to understand, but I couldn't fit some of the puzzle pieces together for cave wall transitions. (Yes, I know to look in the .cfg files, but that gets overwhelming...)

For example: Regular human castles can be put together in concave, convex, and a couple of keep-castle six-sided donuts. I tried doing the same thing with dwarf castles, but could not figure out how to arrange the images for castle-cavewall transitions (regular concave & convex were, of course, the same as human).

I don't have any images right now to show what I mean, but if anyone thinks they are knowledgeable enough about this, I can get more specific.

I realize this is not a thread about new terrains, but I think if I understood those transitions and could get some sort of process worked out, I could help with other underground things that have been discussed in the past, such as water-cave, water-cavewall, or water-chasm.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Boucman » April 23rd, 2010, 2:33 pm

Eleazar wrote:
Boucman wrote:about animated water.... the problem is that rhyging5 seems to be MIA and a lots of tiles are missing. I could integrate the base tiles, which are done, but they probably need some recoloring. As for the beaches, we have a coule of them, mainly north facing, but we don't have enough and no cliff transition at all.

Even if we just got ocean and shallow done with that style and no special transitions (i.e. beach waves) i think it would be a major improvement.


I can send you all the tiles if you want, so you can start recoloring. at that point I can commit the base frames, and we can start looking at beaches

Eleazar wrote:
Off the cuff, i don't think it would be too hard to make beach transitions, in more or less that style. If the double transition method i describe in the other thread works as i hope, we should only need 3 sets of land<>water animated transitions. One for flat-ish terrain, one for hills and mountains, and one for cave.

Actually, the Ford and Reef probably should have special animations too.

So you can animate all this and there's no lag issues?


hard to tell at this point, but we'll try

Eleazar wrote:
EDIT:
Fog: There was only a single base tile for the fog, which tiled too obviously i made and uploaded 2 more, but couldn't get them to show up in game. Either fog is a special case in the .cfg, or i don't remember the basics of the .cfg... or both.


EDIT : the fog doesn't use the normal terrain engine, i've hacked a way to have multiple fog tiles in...
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Jetrel » April 24th, 2010, 3:24 am

I'd basically like to see the mountains come out exactly like what this guy posted for FreeCiv. In fact, I'd love to get him involved if he's interested.

http://forum.freeciv.org/viewtopic.php?t=6046
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby freim » April 24th, 2010, 7:10 am

Jetrel wrote:I'd basically like to see the mountains come out exactly like what this guy posted for FreeCiv. In fact, I'd love to get him involved if he's interested.

http://forum.freeciv.org/viewtopic.php?t=6046


Those are rendered tiles. I can't draw like that and neither do they give me any inspiration for shape. I can't see anything distinct which gives me an idea of what kind of mountains that's supposed to be. Lets see if someone else comes along and picks this up, I will abandon it for now.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 24th, 2010, 4:34 pm

Boucman wrote:I can send you all the tiles if you want, so you can start recoloring. at that point I can commit the base frames, and we can start looking at beaches

I have what he posted in the thread-- is what you have any different? If so, please post it or send it to me.

Boucman wrote:EDIT : the fog doesn't use the normal terrain engine, i've hacked a way to have multiple fog tiles in...
Great.

For the shallow water i think we should introduce a new variant. Tropical blue waters like his tiles, and a less saturated version more like what we previously had.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Boucman » April 24th, 2010, 9:56 pm

I had to recut his tiles (they were larger than 72x72)

you'll find what I am working with below.

Note that we probably will have to have some bridges redone too.

to activate it (from a trunk checkout),

unzip in data/core/images/terrain/water

comment line 345 and uncomment line 346 in data/core/terrainn-graphics.cfg

tell me if you have any problems
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Re: Evaluation of Terrain and Improvements

Postby Eleazar » April 25th, 2010, 9:05 pm

Boucman wrote:I had to recut his tiles (they were larger than 72x72)

Lots of terrain graphics are bigger than 72x72... are you sure they need to be chopped up?
I can recolor them this way no problem, but any other kind of change would be very tricky-- though i'm hopping i won't have to do any other kind of change.

Boucman wrote:to activate it (from a trunk checkout)....

I remember how to use SVN, but haven't yet figured out what i need to do to make compiling work on this machine. It will probably be a few days before i have the time to buckle down and try to figure out what's wrong, but i should have recolored ocean before then.
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